Now that the dust has settled after the special election in Mississippi on Tuesday, when Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith won the U.S. Senate seat vacated by ailing incumbent Thad Cochran, the press is being accused of mishandling coverage of an incident that took place the day before the vote. The problem began when a local NBC affiliate reported that several nooses and hate signs were found at the Mississippi state capitol in Jackson about 7:15 a.m.



Why would PBS devote over six minutes to a midterm election race that looks to be headed towards a blowout? Perhaps it's because examining the Mississippi Senate race on the PBS NewsHour allows the network to dig into the bitter primary battle between Tea Party-backed Chris McDaniel and the victor, incumbent Thad Cochran. 



When a U.S. president is using the IRS to terrify his political enemies, destroying American health care and opening our southern border to millions of future welfare-collecting, Democratic voters from the Third World, why is a dime's worth of money being wasted on trying to replace the Republican senator from Mississippi with a slightly different Republican?

Honestly, I think these deck chairs look just fine. Maybe we should check on the Titanic's hull, captain.



In Tuesday's contentious runoff contest, senator Thad Cochran, a Republican who has represented Mississippi since his first election in 1978, defeated Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel in part because the “open primary” allowed African-American Democrats to cast ballots in the GOP contest.

 As a result, John King -- host of CNN's Inside Politics program -- wondered during Wednesday's edition whether Cochran will simply say “Thank you” and forget the votes he received or use the victory as a “turning point” for a larger conversation within the Republican Party about issues like voting rights.



On the June 24 edition of Hardball With Chris Matthews, the MSNBC anchor invited Adam Brandon of the Tea Party organization FreedomWorks onto the show in an attempt to portray the Tea Party as targeting black voters in the Republican Mississippi primary run-off. Matthews claimed McDaniel’s supporters were citing a “Jim Crow-era law from 1942" to try to stifle votes by African-American voters for Sen. Thad Cochran (R).

Of course the law in question is not racist in construction, but is rather intended to prevent Democrats or Republicans from utilizing crossover strategic voting in another party’s primary. It is obviously unenforceable due to the secrecy of the ballot. However Matthews went out of the way to characterize how the Tea Party is abusing this law as a way to stop Black Democrats from voting, stating that “Mississippi's attorney general” is on edge, and “fears racial profiling...and intimidation tactics might be used to suppress the black vote.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]



Ronan Farrow opened his MSNBC program Tuesday with these words: "Who can steal Magnolia State voters?" The opening words on the screen behind him were: "Mississippi Mud," followed by a chyron reading "Stealing the Magnolia State." Farrow's reporting quickly emphasized, several times, that the primary was a Republican one, and that it had gotten "nasty."
 
Several minutes followed, with NBC's Kasie Hunt reporting live from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, detailing the "really hard fought, really nasty" campaign between U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, portrayed on the whole as a doddering figure, and strongly conservative challenger Chris McDaniel, portrayed as an insensitive extremist.



Sore winner?

You'd think a man who might be on the verge of taking a giant step toward winning the Republican nomination would go out of his way to be gracious. But John McCain couldn't suppress his spiteful streak on this morning's Today.

In the course of his interview by Matt Lauer, the Today co-anchor cited criticism of McCain by former and current Senate colleagues Rick Santorum and Thad Cochran. McCain retaliated with a personal swipe at their reputations, and later declined to describe Mitt Romney as a fine man.

View video here.